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Article

Bing, S(iegfried)  

Gabriel P. Weisberg

(b Hamburg, Feb 26, 1838; d Vaucresson, nr Paris, Sept 6, 1905).

French art dealer, critic and patron, of German birth. Often misnamed Samuel, he was a major promoter of Japanese art and Art Nouveau. From a wealthy, entrepreneurial Hamburg family, he trained as an industrial decorator for ceramics under the guidance of his father and independently in Paris during the Second Empire (1852–70). After the Franco-Prussian War (which he spent in Belgium) Bing established a thriving Oriental trading business, primarily of Japanese arts, the success of which permitted the opening of his Oriental crafts shop in Paris in the late 1870s. Following a trip to Japan, he expanded the business in the 1880s, selling both contemporary and ancient Japanese objects, to meet the demand for Oriental merchandise. At the end of the 1880s, as Japonisme developed, Bing founded a monthly periodical, Le Japon artistique (pubd simultaneously in Eng., Fr. and Ger., 1888–91), and organized a series of exhibitions of rare Japanese art, featuring ceramics and ...

Article

Chosŏn dynasty  

Junghee Lee

[Yi]

Korean dynasty that ruled the Korean peninsula from 1392 to 1910. The founder of the dynasty, Yi Sŏng-gye, posthumously known as King T’aejo (reg 1392–8), established Neo-Confucianism as the official ideology, encouraging a modest and practical lifestyle. Thus the patronage of extravagant art was discouraged, and the status of the artist was reduced. Buddhism was often zealously suppressed but remained the private religion of the palace women, the common people and even some kings. T’aejo, for example, built Sŏgwang Temple in north-eastern Korea, the area of his origin; King Sejo (reg 1455–68) built the marble pagoda of the Wŏngak Temple in Seoul in 1466; and the Dowager Queen Munjŏng patronized painters (see Korea: Painting) and supported temple constructions during the reign of King Myŏngjong (reg 1545–67).

With the establishment of the capital at Hanyang (now Seoul), T’aejo built the Kyŏngbok and Ch’angdŏk palaces and city walls in ...

Article

Clarke, Thomas B(enedict)  

Lillian B. Miller

(b New York, Dec 11, 1848; d New York, Jan 18, 1931).

American businessman, collector, patron and dealer. He began collecting art in 1869 with paintings by American Hudson River school artists and conventional European works, Chinese porcelain, antique pottery and 17th- and 18th-century English furniture. By 1883 his taste had focused entirely on American works, especially on paintings by George Inness and Winslow Homer. By dealing in such works and by giving frequent exhibitions, Clarke enhanced the popularity of these artists, while also realizing large profits for himself. His founding of Art House, New York, in 1890 confirms the profit motive behind his collecting practices. The most notable sale of his paintings took place in 1899, when he sold at auction 373 contemporary American works at a profit of between 60 and 70%. Four landscapes by Inness—Grey, Lowery Day (c. 1876–7; untraced), Delaware Valley (1865; New York, Met.), Clouded Sun (1891; Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mus. A.) and Wood Gatherers: Autumn Afternoon...

Article

Wu Dacheng  

Elizabeth F. Bennett

[Wu Ta-ch’engming Dashunzi Zhijing, Qingqinghao Hengxian, Kezhai]

(b Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, Jun 6, 1835; d Mar 6, 1902).

Chinese calligrapher, epigrapher, and collector. Born into a rich and cultured merchant family, he entered the district school at 16 and at 17 began to study seal script (zhuanshu) under Chen Huan (1786–1863). He received his jinshi degree in 1868 and became a scholar at the Hanlin Academy in Beijing, followed by two years at the Suzhou Provincial Printing Office. In succeeding years, he distinguished himself as an army officer, diplomat, and civil servant. He became Governor of Guangdong Province in 1887 and of Hunan in 1892, interrupted by a period as director-general of the conservancy of the Yellow River and the Grand Canal and followed by his directorship of the Longmen Academy in Shanghai in 1898.

Wu amassed a large collection of antiquities. He became renowned as an interpreter of written characters used before the Qin period (221–206 bce) and completed a dictionary of seal characters, the ...

Article

Duanfang  

Shana J. Brown

[Tuan-fangzi Wuqiaohao Taozhai][Tuan-fangzi Wuqiaohao Taozhai]

(b Fengrun, Hebei Province, Apr 20, 1861; d Zizhou [modern Zizhong], Sichuan Province, Nov 27, 1911).

Chinese official and collector of art and antiquities. Duanfang was reportedly of Han Chinese ethnicity, but his ancestors migrated to Manchuria during the late Ming dynasty (1368–1644) and joined the Manchu Plain White Banner. After the establishment of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), members of Duanfang’s family became high imperial officials. Duanfang’s career begin in the mid-1890s. He rose to high positions in a period of rapid political, educational, and economic reform. In alliance with other progressive officials, he supported the establishment of modern schools and furthered the cause of women’s education. After touring the United States and Europe in 1905–1906, he co-authored a report to the throne advocating constitutional government. While serving as governor-general of the Liang-Jiang region and grand minister of trade for the southern ports, he sponsored the 1910 Encouraging Industry Exposition in Nanjing, which showcased technology, arts, and commercial products. By 1911 Duanfang was appointed to supervise the building of a new railway linking Chengdu in Sichuan to Guangdong. In order to suppress local opposition to the railway, he was made acting governor-general of Sichuan, and after the onset of national revolution in ...

Article

Fenollosa, Ernest Francisco  

Nancy E. Green

[Tei shin; Kanō Yeitan Masanobu]

(b Salem, MA, Feb 18, 1853; d London, Sept 21, 1908).

American curator, scholar, collector, and educator. Fenollosa played a unique role in enhancing the appreciation of Japanese art in both its native country and within the USA. Educated at Harvard, after graduation he studied philosophy and divinity at Cambridge University, followed by a year at the newly founded art school at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. He also formed important friendships with the collectors Edward Sylvester Morse, Charles Goddard Weld (1857–1911), and William Sturgis Bigelow (1850–1926).

In 1878, with an introduction from Morse, Fenollosa travelled to Japan for the first time, accompanied by his new wife, Lizzie Goodhue Millett, to teach political economy and philosophy at Tokyo’s Imperial University. Embracing Japanese art and culture, he became an active advocate for preserving the country’s art treasures and, with the Japanese artists Kanō Hōgai (see Kanō family §(16)) and Hashimoto Gahō, helped to revive the ...

Article

Hara, Sankei  

Yoshikazu Iwasaki

[Aoki, Tomitarō]

(b Gifu Prefect., Aug 23, 1868; d Yokohama, Aug 16, 1939).

Japanese collector. He changed his name when he was adopted by his father-in-law, a silk merchant in Yokohama, who made him his heir. He began collecting after c. 1897, and his large collection contained a number of National Treasures. To exhibit it, he opened the Sankei’en in a new park in Yokohama. He encouraged and gave financial support to such artists as Yukihiko Yasuda and Gyoshū Hayami, prominent figures in the Japan Art Institute. He was a highly respected tea master in later life....

Article

Munthe, General J(ohan) W(ilhelm) N(ormann)  

Monika P. Thowsen

(b Bergen, July 27, 1864; d Beijing, May 13, 1935).

Norwegian officer and collector. After training at the cavalry’s non-commissioned officers’ school in Kristiania (now Oslo) from 1884 to 1886, he travelled to China in 1886 and was appointed to the Chinese customs and excise service in 1887. Munthe remained in China and took part in various military actions. He was also adjutant to Yuan Shikai, then viceroy of Zhili, Hebei Province (1900–08), and then customs director in Tianjin (1909–11). After the Revolution (1911), Munthe was again adjutant and adviser to Yuan Shikai, first President of the Republic of China (1912–16). Munthe was the head of the protective guard of the legation district in Beijing, adviser to the Ministry of War and a Chinese lieutenant general. During the 1920s he was director of the Sino-Scandinavian Bank. The honours he received included the Russian St George’s Cross, the British China Expedition Medal and the Norwegian Cross of the Commander of the Norwegian Order of St Olav. From ...

Article

Qing [Ch’ing] dynasty  

Carol Michaelson

Last Chinese dynasty, founded by the Manchus, dating to 1644–1911. The Manchu emperors early became sinicized and patronized all forms of Chinese art and culture. Until the 19th century there was relative prosperity and peace under the Qing. Population and trade increased on an unprecedented scale, and expansion of territory made China the richest and largest state in the world. The reign periods of the Kangxi (1662–1722), Yongzheng (1723–1735), and Qianlong (1736–1796) emperors represent the height of Qing cultural attainment. In 1683 Kangxi founded the zaobanchu, a department of public artworks within the palace. He also promoted regional crafts and encouraged the latest Western inventions. Qianlong was also a great patron and collector. As enlightened despots, the emperors won over many patriotic Chinese, particularly by means of publishing enterprises that stimulated intellectual life, and by holding special examinations. In art the emperors were essentially conservative, but many merchants in Yangzhou and elsewhere in the south were also great artistic patrons....

Article

Siebold, Philipp Franz von  

Amy Reigle Stephens

(b Würzburg, Feb 17, 1796; d Munich, Dec 18, 1866).

German doctor of medicine, Japanologist and collector. He was the son of Christoph (1767–98) and Apollonia (1768–1845) von Siebold. His father was a professor of medicine at the University of Würzburg; von Siebold received his medical qualification from the same university in 1820. In 1822 he was appointed one of the four surgeon-majors in the Dutch East Indies Army and was sent to the capital of Java, Batavia (now Jakarta). He sailed the following year for Nagasaki to take up the post of doctor at the Dutch settlement on the island of Dejima (see Nagasaki). In addition to his medical duties he was required to gather information on Japan and to cultivate good relations with the Tokugawa shogunate. Once settled, von Siebold began to teach the natural sciences and medicine to the rangakusha (‘scholars of Dutch (Western) learning’) who were permitted entry to Dejima. He quickly earned a high reputation and was allowed more freedom of movement in Nagasaki than most of his fellow countrymen. In ...

Article

Vever, Henri  

Milo Cleveland Beach

(b Metz, 1854; d 1942)

French jeweller and collector. Vever directed the family jewellery business, begun in Metz by his grandfather Pierre-Paul Vever (d 1853). After the capture of Metz in the Franco-Prussian War (1871), the family moved to Luxembourg and then Paris, where the Maison Vever became well established on the Rue de la Paix, winning the Grand Prix of the universal expositions in 1889 and 1900 and becoming a leader in the Art Nouveau movement. Vever gave an important group of Art Nouveau works to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. His early interest in contemporary French painting led him to assemble a large and important group of works by Corot, Sisley, Renoir and Monet, of which he sold the majority (Paris, Gal. Georges Petit, 1897) to concentrate on Japanese and Islamic art. Vever had begun to collect Japanese prints in the 1880s and in 1892 joined the distinguished private group ...

Article

Luo Zhenyu  

Elizabeth F. Bennett

revised by Chia-ling Yang

[Lo Chen-yüzi Xuetanghao Chensuntang]

(b Huaian, Jiangsu Province, Aug 3, 1866; d Lüshun, Liaoning Province, Jun 19, 1940).

Chinese writer, collector, and calligrapher.

At the age of 25 Luo Zhenyu moved to Shanghai and subsequently founded the organizations Xuenong She (Society for Learning Agriculture) and Dongwen Xueshe (Society of Eastern [Japanese] Literature) to promote the Japanese language as well as Western learning. A loyalist to the Qing dynasty, he relocated with his family to Japan upon the dynasty’s collapse to avoid political confrontation. He worked in seclusion in Kyoto on the materials he had brought with him—collections of bronze inscriptions, oracle bone inscriptions, and Dunhuang manuscripts—and focused on writing and publishing, additionally taking on commercial art dealing in order to financially support his family and closer friends.

In 1919 he returned to Tianjin, China, and participated in activities to help restore the deposed Emperor Xuantong (Puyi), eventually serving as his assistant. However, he gradually grew disillusioned with his position and the restored government and resigned, dedicating his last years to researching Chinese antiquities in Lüshun. A small portion of his bronze and painting collections were rescued by his family (the rest were dispersed by Russian troops after World War II) and are now housed at the Lüshun Museum....